A homeowner's complete guide to AC Filter Replacement

When we talk about regular HVAC maintenance, cleaning/changing of Filters comes on top of the list. And that is because the efficient functioning of a whole home heating & cooling system depends to a great extent on clean and efficient filters. And did you know that one of the main causes of sudden HVAC appliance break down has been recorded to be dirt and debris? Which indirectly indicates towards the absence of regular filter cleaning/maintenance. So, how does an Air Conditioner filter works, what filter sizings and qualities are available, which one can work best for your system and how often should you replace your filters? This blog is all about Air Conditioner filters so brace yourself!

What does an Air Conditioner filter do?

Air Conditioner Filters help keep your indoor air as well as your HVAC components clean. For this purpose, a filter is installed between the return air duct and Air Conditioner. The indoor air that rushes towards the AC passes through this filter which is designed in a way so as to capture the dust, debris and other such air pollutants. The cleaned air reaches the Air Conditioner and after getting cleaned comes to the indoor.

MERV ratings and Filters

The Filters have been classified into a range of efficiency ratings; MERV rating from 1-20. The MERV rating filters of 8-13 are considered extremely good for residential use. Lower than 8 MERV just perform a formality filtration and don't do enough good to make the indoor air clean. However, there's one thing that should be noted. And that is while purchasing filters, the system requirements should be known. Usually, the Filters any higher than 13 MERV are not suitable for conventional residential HVAC setups. Installing them can actually block the airway resulting in motor damage.

How often should I change/clean my filter?

The time of replacement of filters varies from home to home. It depends on what kind of indoor activities take place in the home, whether the home is in a commercial area, how often the HVAC appliances are used and some other factors. But roughly, an Air Conditioner filter should be replaced once in 3 months. For filters of different sizes, the following routine can be followed;
- For filters of 1-inch width - 1-3 months
- For filters of 2-inch width - 3 months
- For filters of & 3 & 4 inch width - 6-9 months
- For filters of 5 & 6 inch width - 9-12 months
But as said, the duration can vary and since the routines and practices change too, it is recommended to check your filter once a month to see if it's dirty enough to be replaced.

How do I find out my Filter size? 

Well, most homeowners never get to know their filter size and keep purchasing filters of random sizes. This is dangerous for your system and safety. But as it takes money to consult a professional regarding the filter sizing and calling him home, homeowners prefer to follow their estimates. The interesting thing is you can find out the size all by yourself that too very easily. Just slide the already installed filter out of the compartment and check the frame of the filter. Almost always, the size is printed on the frame in length x width x format! Problem solved!

If there's something that worries you regarding Filter selection, Filter replacement or upgrading your Filter type, connect with us today at 1-855-245-4328


Choosing the right Duct Cleaning service

If you have lately been reading reports and news that suggest, bad indoor air quality becomes the primary source of many respiratory tract problems and other diseases, it is likely that you are thinking to make sure you have a healthy IAQ. And when one becomes cautious about the IAQ, one of the first thoughts go to the ductwork; ''Should I go for Duct Cleaning''?
But before you go for a random Duct Cleaning service, here's a warning we would like to make;
You may take a service and spend a few hundred dollars and still be left with bad IAQ or in some cases a worse IAQ if you choose the self-claimed professionals. So here's what we suggest homeowners to do when they are on a Duct Cleaning tech hunt. Do this to choose the right professionals for having your ductwork cleaned the right way.

Ways to meet the best Duct Cleaning service in your vicinity

- You need a real professional else all your home will turn out into a mess of dirt and debris. People who don't exactly know the right way of cleaning take the all the dirt out of the ductwork and with the help of their unprofessionalism spread it all around. In order to protect yourself from such neophytes, you need to check the certifications. Before you hire someone, ensure he is a certified professional if an individual and if company, a certified company following the HVAC standards

- Never fall for a service if it appears to be cheap and fascinating. Always take multiple quotes and try at least 3 different companies/services

- Look for a service that offers a free inspection of the duct. There are times when the duct doesn't need cleaning. But of course, to make money, some services will jump into your duct and do the service whatsoever. So choosing a service that offers a free duct inspection to tell whether or not the duct needs cleaning can actually save you from spending on Duct Cleaning if your duct doesn't need cleaning

- Don't be deluded by offers that seem overly discounted. Such offers usually have hidden prices. So when you fall for a full house duct cleaning in $99 offer, what usually happens is that you'll be told later the basement or the HVAC units are the exemption and then you have no choice but to take separate service and pay extra for anything additional that you assumed as included.

Hey! Do my ducts even need cleaning 

So, why get worried about the bad IAQ and hire a very expensive service when your ducts don't need cleaning in the first place?
There are certain points that can help;
- If you have a ductwork installed recently, it does not need cleaning
- If you are regular with the cleaning of the filters and units, once again it's most probable that your duct is clean or at least not as dirty as to cause any problem for your IAQ

How often you should go for Duct Cleaning depends on the area you live in, the kind of home you have, the kind of indoor activities and the type of HVAC practices you follow. But a rough estimate is that the Ducts should be cleaned once a year or at least once in three years.
And before you go here's another tip; Use a torchlight to inspect the ducts before and after the service. It will help you find out whether or not you got what you paid for.